A city should have its place on the web to share its stories. Well, this one is for Shantou - an southern city with rich culture and history, delicious local cuisine and interesting people.
The story of Project MyShantou
In the summer of 2005, I was back Shantou for school holiday. After spending a few years in the UK, I started to wonder how my hometown was perceived in the World Wide Web. The result pages in Google was disappointed. Other than a few official sites from the local government and a couple of posts from the tourists, useful information is minimum.
“We can do better than this?” I thought. The next thing I did was to get the domain myShantou.net and a couple of tech setup, a blog was up running.
I teamed with with my friend Maggie who was teaching English at a local school. She is from England and was kind enough to document parts of the daily life here.
From zero to one was easy. As search engines clawed more information, we started to receive emails from English visitors who was planning to visit the city. More interestingly, second or third generation Teochew who were planning root-seeking tour to find their ancestors’ memories.
It was encouraging to see our work was meaningful. The local TV station even featured a news coverage on the us.
Later when Maggie left the city, I was introduced to John - a professor at Cheung Kong School of Journalism and Communication, Shantou University. Again, he was kind enough to continue Maggie’s work and write about what’s happening in the city. He and his students have done some remarkable work. Most of the contents were written by John and his students. There was even one piece that was contracted and featured in the printed magazine of Singapore’s JetStar airline!
Project myShantou (as I like to call it) is maintained purely by volunteers like John and me. Therefore you will see an inconsistency of posting timeline. This is normal and expected. With the limited effort we can put in, we would like interesting stories to be told, and meaningful developments to be documented about the city.
We do welcome contributors and supports if you have any ideas to make this work better, or even just to share your story in Shantou. Click here to contact me.
Richard Hong December 2019